The David F. Kelly Bioethics Lectures invites nationally and internationally prominent scholars to lecture at Duquesne University each fall and spring semester on current and emerging topics in bioethics. The purpose of the series is to provide ethics leadership on the crucial issues in health care today.
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Previous Kelly Bioethics Lectures

Solomon (Solly) Benatar MBChB, DSc (Med), FRCP, FACP (Hon) 
Bioethics and Ethics in a Globalized World

Dr.  Benatar is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He was Professor of Medicine, Chief Physician, a practicing clinician from 1980-2007, and Head of the Department and Division of Medicine for 19 of these years. He led the development of Bioethics at UCT for 20 years as Founding Director of the UCT Bioethics Centre. Other professional positions included serving as Vice President of the College of Medicine of South Africa, President of the International Association of Bioethics, ethics advisor to UNAIDS, Médecins Sans Frontières and Family Health International and as the International Member on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Standing Committee on Ethics. He has been a visiting Professor at many medical schools including Harvard University, where he spent the 1994/95 academic year as a Fellow in the Program in Ethics and the Professions. Since 2000 he has been an annually invited visiting scholar, teacher and mentor at the University of Toronto. 

His academic interests have included respiratory medicine, health services, human rights, academic boycott, medical ethics and global health on which he has published over 250 peer-reviewed journal articles and 60 book chapters. Global Health and Global Health Ethics, co-edited with Gillian Brock, a New Zealand philosopher, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.

He is an elected Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Medicine and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected a Fellow of the University of Cape Town, the Royal Society of South Africa, the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, and The Hastings Center in New York. He received the Hastings Center's Henry Knowles Beecher Award in 2011 in recognition of lifetime contributions to ethics and the life sciences and a career devoted to excellence in scholarship, research, and ethical inquiry.

Dr. Benatar's presentation may be viewed by clicking here


Calum MacKellar, Ph.D.

Human-nonhuman Interspecies Embryos: An Ethical Discussion

Dr. Calum MacKellar completed his Diplome d'lngénieure in bio-organic chemistry with the European High Institute of Chemistry and his doctorate in biochemistry with the University of Stuttgart in Germany. After, MacKellar began working as a post-doctoral research fellow synthesizing new kinds of DNA to be used as possible drugs against disorders such as AIDS. Later, Mackellar began teaching biological chemistry and bioethics at Queen Margaret University and would eventually serve as a senior civil servant with the Bioethics Division of the Council of Europe. 

In 2003, he came back to Scotland as the Director of Research of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics. His continued association with the journal Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics, now known as, The New Bioethics, has resulted in him becoming its associate editor. He also served as a member of a UK National Health Service Research Ethics Committee in Edinburgh for more than twelve years, as well as being nominated in 2010 as a Fellow of the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity based in Chicago, USA.

Dr. MacKellar's presentation may be viewed by clicking here

Click here to access further information via Duquesne University's Gumberg Library. 


F. Daniel Davis, Ph.D.

Integrating Bioethics: Challenges and Opportunities

Health care organizations-hospitals and systems-tend to be collections of siloes. And within them, bioethics is often just another silo (if it's present at all). What would bioethics look like-more important, how would bioethics function-if it rejected its assigned silo and adopted a posture of engagement and collaboration with colleagues in other siloes? Compared with more traditional approaches to bioethics, what are the features of a bioethics program that seeks to be highly integrated within a hospital or health care system? These (and related) questions will provide the focus for this presentation, which draws heavily on recent experience at one of the nation's largest rural health care systems, the Geisinger Health System headquartered in Danville, PA.

Dr. Davis' slide presentation is available here


Maria do Céu Patrão Neves

The Role of Bioethics in Policy-Making in the European Union

Maria do Céu Patrão Neves is a Full Professor of Ethics, at the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Azores (Portugal), where she is also responsible for the teaching and research on applied ethics (mainly bioethics). She graduated in Philosophy in 1984. She then developed research on contemporary French philosophy, mainly on the philosopher Maurice Blondel, having studied at the Maurice Blondel's Archives, at the Catholique University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. Both, her Master and Ph.D thesis were dedicated to Blondel's though under a theory of knowledge perspective. She also published several papers on this philosopher and two books: Studies on Maurice Blondel (1999), and A Problemática do «Pensamento» em Blondel. Esboço de uma teoria da Natureza e de uma doutrina do Espírito (2000).
From then on Patrão Neves focused in philosophical anthropology and ethics
She was the scientific and pedagogic coordinator for the area of Philosophy (2005-2009).


Eric Meslin Ph.D

The Impact and Future Role of Bioethics on Ebola (and vice versa)

Eric M. Meslin is the Associate Dean for Bioethics in the Indiana University School of Medicine, and is Professor of Medicine; of Medical & Molecular Genetics; of Bioethics and Law; and of Philosophy. In 2012 he was appointed as Indiana University's first Professor of Bioethics. Among his other leadership positions at IU he directs the Indiana University-Moi University Academic Research Ethics Partnership, an NIH-funded bioethics training program in Eldoret, Kenya; the Bioethics and Subject Advocacy Program of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute; and co-directs the Indiana University Center for Law, Ethics and Applied Research in Health Information. Dr. Meslin has more than 150 published articles and book chapters on various topics in bioethics and science and is a co-editor of the Cambridge University Press Bioethics and Law Series. He has been a member of several boards and including the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Ethical and Scientific Issues in Studying the Safety of Approved Drugs; the Ethics Subcommittee to the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the Board of Directors of Genome Canada.

Dr. Meslin's lecture may be viewed here.


Ruth Macklin, Ph.D.

Ethical challenges in confronting disasters: Some lessons learned

Ruth Macklin is Professor of Bioethics in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. She received a BA with Distinction from Cornell University and an MA and PhD in Philosophy from Case Western Reserve University. She has more than two hundred sixty publications in professional journals and scholarly books in bioethics, law, medicine, philosophy, and the social sciences in addition to articles in magazines and newspapers for general audiences. She is author or editor of thirteen books, including Against Relativism (1999), Double Standards in Medical Research in Developing Countries (2004), and Ethics in Global Health: Research, Policy, and Practice (2012). Dr. Macklin is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization. She currently co-directs an NIH-sponsored Training Program on Research Ethics, which takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. Macklin's lecture may be viewed here.


Ruth B. Purtilo, PhD, FAPTA

Moral Courage: An Unsung Resource for Optimizing Health Care Practices

Professor emerita, Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, Boston

Moral courage most often is treated as a moral trait of individuals who speak up, step out or stand firm in situations that threaten moral values. But seldom do we view how it functions to help transform individual situations or alter basic institutional practices. In this lecture five "constituents of courage" that can act as guides promoting purposive action for the common good in health care settings and the role of spiritual formation as an aspect of empowerment for moral courage are presented for reflection and discussion.

Watch the Lecture


Thursday, April 18, 2013 | 1:00-2:30 p.m. | Duquesne Union, Room 613

Dr. Jan Helge Solbakk

Movements and Movies in Bioethics: The use of Theater and Cinema in Teaching Bioethics

Professor of Medical Ethics and Head of Research at Centre for Medical Ethics, University of Oslo, Norway

Dr Solbakk

Jan Helge Solbakk is trained as a physician and a theologian. He also holds a PhD in ancient Greek philosophy. From 1996-2011, he was also the adjunct professor of Medical Ethics at the Centre for International Health, University of Bergen. In 2007 and 2008, Solbakk served as Chief of Bioethics at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. At present, Solbakk is chair of ISSCR's Ethics and Public Policy Committee. He serves as an ethics expert for several international organizations (UNESCO, ISSCR, the European Commission, the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership and the European Research Council). Solbakk has published extensively and is involved in several international research projects dealing with bioethics teaching, international research ethics and with the ethical implications of personalized medicine and stem cell research.


The Signs of the Times; from the Vatican II to the Birth and Development of Bioethics

Thursday, November 15, 2012 | 1:00-2:30 p.m. | 613 Union

Prof. Dr. Renzo Pegoraro

Professor of Bioethics, University of Padua

Renzo Pegoraro is Professor of Bioethics at the School for Obstetricians of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Padua.

In 1985, he graduated as doctor of medicine at the University of Padua, then studied philosophy and theology in Padua and in Rome, where he graduated with a degree in moral theology in 1990. In 1993, he became Professor of Bioethics at the Faculty of Theology of Northern Italy in Padua, and General Secretary of the Fondazione Lanza (a centre of advanced studies in ethics, bioethics and environmental ethics). Since 1998, he has been President of the Research Ethics Committee of the Medical Centre of Padua. Between 2000-2002, he was a member of the National Healthcare Council, and serves as an ethicist in several institutions. Since 2001, he has been President of the Fondazione Lanza. He was President in 2005-2007 of the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care. In 2011, he was appointed Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life in Rome.

Renzo Pegoraro has published articles in journals and books on different issues in biomedical ethics, in particular, religion and bioethics, human experimentation, organ transplantation, and elderly care.


Ethics Consultation in Medical Innovation: Face Transplantation

Thursday, April 19, 2012 | 1:00-2:30 p.m. | Power Center Ballroom

Prof. AgichGeorge J. Agich, Ph.D.

National Science Council Visiting Professor
Department of Social Medicine
National Taiwan University College of Medicine
Professor (Retired) of Philosophy
Bowling Green State University

Please follow this link to watch the lecture..


Medical Ethics in an Era of Bioethics

Thursday, April 28, 2011 | 1:00-2:30 p.m. | Power Center Ballroom

Edmund Pellegrino, MD

Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics
Center for Clinical Medical Ethics
Georgetown University Medical Center

Please follow this link to watch the lecture..


The Ethics of the Medically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration

Thursday, November 11, 2010 | 3:00-5:00 p.m. | Power Center Ballroom

Prof. KellyDavid Kelly

Founding Director of the Center for Healthcare Ethics

Please follow this link to watch the lecture..